Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Red Centre.

Last week (actually, I have no idea how long ago or even what day it is right now...I've been on a train for 22 hours and I'm exhausted, but I wanted to post this while I had the chance). So, awhile ago....I went on a tour to see the Red Centre. The trip included a hike at King's Canyon, a visit to Kata Tjuta, a stop at Uluru and two nights camping in the outback. I boarded a bus at 6:00 am with 20 other tourists and a guide, Sarah, who drove us around, cooked our food, and told us all about the place. I had never done this sort of traveling and was really wondering about how all of this would go. I was also completely unprepared because I had booked at the hostel desk and when I asked them if I needed to know anything special they said I didn't. I packed up ALL of my stuff which was WAY too much and didn't pack enough water, but we stopped at a lot of places so I got extra anyway. And, I ended up having a fantastic time and making a bunch of new friends along the way.

The first stop was King's Canyon. This is a huge crack in the earth that is starting to become a very popular hiking destination. We did the rim walk and it took about three hours. We all had to carry three litres of water. I definitely drank every last drop of mine. The wind and air at the top is so dry it's hard to remember how to breathe. This picture was taken in front of the area they climb through in Queen of the Desert :)

A cycad, or dinosaur plant and a ghost gum.

Me beside the canyon. That lighter area is where the most recent chunk of rock fell in 60 years ago.

Sunset over the desert.

Day two. Kata Tjuta. Or many heads. This is a sacred man's place where boys were taken to learn how to hunt.

The Mala walk at Uluru. Mala were giant people from the creation time who formed the earth and the brought the people to these lands. All along the base of Uluru are places where important events occured in their time. These stories are passed down through the generations.

An ancient boy's classroom cave in the bottom of Uluru. These paintings are probably 1000 years old and you can see how they overlap like they would on a chalkboard. There are all sorts of interesting little places like this around the base of Uluru. We did the entire walk which is 9.5 km on flat ground. Several of the areas are sacred so you can't take pictures. Noone in my group climbed the rock. It's very dangerous and the aboriginials ask that you don't climb it because it is so important to their culture. The first day we were there the climb was closed, the second it was open and it was as busy as the 401.

Uluru at sunset, the most spectacular time.

The last night we all went back to the hostel I stayed at and went out for dinner. I had a traditional Aussie burger with friend egg, beetroot, and pineapple. It was delicious.

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